Viet Nam is moving forward in its transition to sustainable, climate-friendly forest management.
This is being achieved through the following three outputs:
The legal and institutional prerequisites for the transition to sustainable and climate-friendly forest management are established.
The capacitiesof relevant actors in the forestry sector for the transition to sustainable, climate-friendly forest management are strengthened.
Information and instruments forfinancing the transition to sustainable, climate-friendly forest management are available to relevant actors in the forestry sector.
Overall, sustainable forest management with long-term rotation acts as a natural climate sink, thereby contributing to achieving Viet Nam’s climate goals.
Covering 42 per cent of the nation’s land area, forests play a central role as natural carbon sinks that contributes to Viet Nam’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. However, the overall quality of forests remain poor and species diversity is low. Forests are subject to major climatic risks such as damages from storms, which are exacerbated by climate change.
Viet Nam is the largest exporter of timber products in Southeast Asia. The plantation economy is dominated by short-term rotation models that produce wood chips for biomass.
On the other hand, 60 per cent of timber imported to Viet Nam is sawn timber, because the domestic production of timber cannot meet the increasing demands for large-sized sustainable timber.
Despite an existing political will, the transition to sustainable climate-friendly forest management has not yet fully been put into practice. Forest owners have little experience with large-sized timber cultivation. They also do not have any access to information on how to mobilise financing to bridge the gap during the transition period. The regulatory framework also needs to provide more incentives to foster the transition.
APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION
The project follows a multi-level approach. It works at national as well as provincial level, focusing on the provinces of Quang Tri, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen. Results from provincial level will be fed back into policy advisory and capacity building sectors at national level.
The project’s activities are comprised of the following three components:
Establishing legal and institutional prerequisites
The project advises national and provincial stakeholders on how to improve the legal framework to push forward the transition to sustainable forest management. At provincial level, silvicultural guidelines on technical topics with special relevance to large-sized timber are being developed and standardised.
Forest owners are supported in applying sustainable forest management to the areas under transition in their annual action plans. The focus is on sustainable forest management, thereby institutionalising them.
The project develops the capabilities of service providers so that they in turn can enhance the ability of forest owners to manage long-term rotation plantations. Training modules will be transferred to open-source
E-learning, making them easily accessible for all. On demonstration sites, the transition to long-term rotation silviculture will be piloted and showcased to prepare for the upscaling. The sites will act as a hands-on classroom to practice silvicultural techniques. As forests are subject to multiple pressures such as droughts, wind, pests and diseases, which are all exacerbated by climate change, forest owners will be supported to assess the risks to their plantations and define risk mitigation measures.
Financing sustainable forest management
The project supports forest owners in developing innovative business models and identifying possible financing options for the transition. Options for collaborating with forest smallholders will be explored. Agreements are to be developed on the basis of mutual interest and benefits that will incentivise the transition to sustainable forest management.
The fostering of gender equality is also being promoted across all activities.
The Management Board of Forestry Projects and GIZ jointly implement the project, in part supported by the consulting company unique land use GmbH with a focus on activities at the provincial level. Other key stakeholders at national level are the Viet Nam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, the Department of Production Forest Development, as well as provincial authorities such as Provincial People’s Committees, departments of Agriculture and Rural development.
Through a participatory assessment process, six forest owners including state-owned forest companies and protection forest management boards (PFMB) were selected to partner with the project, including
The Management board of Ben Hai River protection forest (Quang Tri province)
The Management board of Thach Han River protection forest Song Cau PFMB (Quang Tri province)
Quy Nhon State Own Forestry Company (Binh Dinh province)
Song Kon State Forest Company (Binh Dinh province)
The Management board of Dong Xuan protection forest (Phu Yen province)
The Management board of Cau River protection forest (Phu Yen province)
Forest owners will increase their capacities to manage their plantations, and will apply a sustainable forest management approach and bankable business models.
The project works closely with capacity building service providers, to institutionalise capacity building offers in the sector so that training opportunities are widely available. Women Unions, forest owner associations and other civil society actors are other important stakeholders.
A large share of Viet Nam’s forest area is in the hands of smallholders. To tap into synergies concerning the transition to sustainable forest management among different forest owners cooperation models between forest smallholders and companies or PFMBs are developed.
A gender guideline and action plan have been developed to formulate concrete measures that will ensure gender equality during the implementation of the project. For instance, an annual gender networking event will provide forest owners and other actors in the timber value chain a forum to exchange about the importance of gender equality. Concrete specifications will be formulated in order to enhance the benefits for both women and men in sustainable forest management.
Project kickoff meeting was held on 26 July 2022 by the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP) and GIZ in Tuy Hoa, Phu Yen, welcoming 70 delegates from the MBFP, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), representatives of the three partnering provinces and international development partners. Combined with the fruitful Project Planning Meeting on the previous day, the event provided a clear project overview and introduces potential forestry interventions at site levels that the project can support.